Agent 007’s exploits in the Secret Service are legendary. From Ian Fleming, who created the original character, to Anthony Horowitz, who wrote the latest incarnation, James Bond has featured in innumerable variations over the years.
In this article, we will be looking at all the James Bond books in order of release.
The History Of 007
Before Ian Fleming began writing seriously, Fleming was a Lieutenant in the Special Branch of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during World War 2. It was during this time that he began collecting ideas and inspiration for his own stories.
When Fleming retired in his senior years and relocated to Jamaica, he went on to write 12 full novels and 9 short stories. By the time Fleming passed away in 1964, three of the Bond films had been adapted and released.
While there are only 12 novels and 9 short stories under Fleming’s name, there are over 60 stories that can be read about Bond’s adventures. Below, we have listed each of the stories, by the numerous authors from over the years, in order of release.
Casino Royale By Ian Fleming (1953)
In Fleming’s first Bond novel, 007 contends with Le Chiffre, a cunning killer who has lost all of his client’s money through gambling.
- The grand beginning of the whole Bond series.
- A thrilling narrative that’ll keep the reader on the edge of their seat.
- The viewpoints in this book are highly misogynistic and politically incorrect, not having aged well since the 1950s.
Live And Let Die By Ian Fleming (1954)
Bond finds himself in the domain of the king of corruption, Mr. Big. Bond is his next subject of betrayal and brutality, along with Solitaire, Mr. Big’s prisoner.
- An intricate plot with plenty of clearly painted characters and worlds.
- In this book, Bond’s sharp humor is highlighted for the first time.
- This book is politically incorrect throughout, with casual mentions of racism and misogyny.
Moonraker By Ian Fleming (1955)
Bond is dispatched to look into M’s suspicions that mysterious millionaire Drax cheated at cards in a prestigious gentlemen’s club. Bringing the fraud to light simply makes Drax more irate, creating more problems.
- A suspenseful book that will hold the reader’s attention.
- Fleming writes in a very detailed manner that is very precise and powerful.
- Readers have complained that the book’s final chapter, which describes a card game, is unnecessary.
Diamonds Are Forever By Ian Fleming (1956)
Bond breaks into a criminal ring as a network for exporting diamonds becomes exposed. Tiffany Case, his greatest hope at locating the mysterious individual in charge of the scheme, proves to be an unexpected companion.
- The novel has excellent momentum.
- Due to her terrible past, Tiffany Case forms a compelling counterpoint to Bond.
- Some people have complained that there aren’t enough action scenes in this book.
From Russia, With Love By Ian Fleming (1957)
No secret operative is more despised by SMERSH than agent 007. Tatiana Romanova, a gorgeous Russian agent in connection with SMERSH, is assigned a task that starts with luring and charming Mr. Bond.
- A thrilling spy story that takes place in the Cold War.
- A true page-turner that will compel the reader to pick up the following book immediately.
- With sporadic references to misogyny, this novel is politically incorrect throughout.
- The book contains several drawn-out passages that seem more like a travel guide than an integral part of the story.
Doctor No By Ian Fleming (1958)
Dr. Julius No, a secretive tyrant with metal pincers for hands, is the inevitable target of Bond’s investigation after he has been sent by M to look into the disappearance of an MI6 operative.
- A wonderful build-up precedes the action in this rough journey.
- From Jamaica to the UK, Fleming’s depicts each region in exquisite detail.
- There is a lot of overt racism and misogyny, which could offend some readers.
Goldfinger By Ian Fleming (1959)
The wealthiest man in England, and owner of massive metal stockpiles, Auric Goldfinger, has raised the interest of MI6 officials. It’s up to Bond to uncover Goldfinger’s inventive gold smuggling operation.
- The reader is kept on the edge of their seat by the rapid-fire action.
- A first-rate thriller with outstanding character development.
- The novel contains significant sexism and homophobia, e.g., Bond’s ‘conversion’ of a lesbian.
For Your Eyes Only By Ian Fleming (1959)
This spectacular compilation of five stories, a break from the novels, follows Bond as he travels the globe and comes into contact with a variety of hazardous foes.
- The five-story format does a great job of holding the reader’s attention.
- Fleming’s superb writing gives the already recognizable characters further depth.
- Many instances of discriminatory slurs are mentioned, which could offend some readers.
Thunderball By Ian Fleming (1961)
Bond has one week to track down some missing explosives when a terrorist organization’s commander hijacks an American airliner carrying atomic weapons.
- A compellingly realistic narrative with numerous action moments that will keep all readers on edge.
- Another extremely well written piece of fiction from Fleming.
- There is a lot of explicit racism and misogyny, which can upset some readers.
The Spy Who Loved Me By Ian Fleming (1962)
Bond has prepared for some downtime since Operation Thunderball left him reeled. His plans backfire when his tire blows close to a motel that is home to brutal assassins intent on wreaking havoc.
- Interestingly, this tale is portrayed from a different perspective, showing Bond through the viewpoint of a complete stranger.
- Although it has a slower beginning, the second half picks up in pace and builds to a thrilling conclusion.
- Despite being narrated from a female’s perspective, this book contains a lot of sexism.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service By Ian Fleming (1963)
Bond is ready to marry Teresa di Vicenzo, a Corsican Mafia family member, uninformed of a certain imminent threat. His plans fall apart in an explosion of bullets in which neither side remains unscathed.
- All readers will be kept on edge by this quick moving plot.
- A real page-turner with some surprising plot twists and fresh, interesting characters.
- Some argue that this book lacks character development and plot compared to Fleming’s other works.
You Only Live Twice By Ian Fleming (1964)
Bond is battling to get back on his feet after losing a loved one. In an effort to revive 007, M dispatches him to Japan, on an operation into the hideout of a vengeful and dangerous foe.
- The story has remarkable cultural and socioeconomic elements.
- A well-written novel that works well as a stand-alone.
- This book doesn’t seem to have as much of the earlier books’ storytelling flair.
- Compared to its predecessors, there are not as many action moments.
The Man With The Golden Gun By Ian Fleming (1966)
Bond is granted one final opportunity to regain M’s trust by killing Scaramanga. He quickly learns that the hit man’s nefarious enterprises in Jamaica have evolved to encompass industrial destruction, narcotics trafficking, and arson.
- Another engaging story with an abundance of detail.
- Both as a single tale and a conclusion to Bond’s adventures, this novel excels.
- Due to Fleming’s passing before completion, this story feels incomplete/less developed than his other works.
Octopussy And The Living Daylights By Ian Fleming (1966)
In a compilation of four adventures, published as Fleming’s final Bond novel, 007 is once again thrust into crisis, and questions how to get himself out of it.
- These tales present the reader with a Bond who is harsher and more professional than they have ever seen.
- A brief yet effective conclusion from Fleming.
- All the elements that make the Bond novels good—grand antagonists, combat, and suspense—are absent from this series.
Colonel Sun By Kingsley Amis (1968)
When M is abducted and his house staff is brutally killed, Bond is once again called to reprise his duties in the first 007 continuation story released following Ian Fleming’s passing.
- The majority of readers hail Amis as a natural replacement for Fleming.
- A great book with some interesting turns along the way.
- Some readers have complained that the plot occasionally drags.
James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me By Christopher Wood (1977)
This is the written novel based upon the movie, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), based upon the 1962 novel written by Ian Fleming.
- The combination of the original writing and the cinematic adaptation allows for the new adventure in this story.
- Despite following the movie adaptation, Wood does a great job of capturing the character of the fictitious Bond.
- There aren’t many significant differences between this book, the movie, and the original novel, with a few small exceptions.
James Bond And Moonraker By Christopher Wood (1979)
This is the written novel based upon the movie, Moonraker (1979), based upon the 1955 novel written by Ian Fleming.
- Although adhering to the movie adaption, Wood successfully captures the essence of the fictional Bond.
- This story’s innovative adventure is made possible by the merger of the original literature and the film adaptation.
- Apart from a few minor things, there aren’t any huge differences between this book, the movie, and the original novel.
Licence Renewed By John Gardner (1981)
In Gardner’s debut Bond book, 007 is tasked with tracking down a terrorist and a genius nuclear physicist who are plotting to hijack nuclear power facilities all around the world.
- Gardner does an excellent job at writing Bond, following in the footsteps of Fleming and Amis.
- An entertaining 007 tale that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
- The plot is somewhat predictable and clichéd.
For Special Services By John Gardner (1982)
Following what appears to be SPECTRE’s dissolution, a string of homicides and hijackings reveals the unfathomable. In his most dangerous assignment to date, Bond confronts the successor to Blofeld’s diabolical enterprise.
- Gardner adds his deeper knowledge of modern technology while keeping much of Fleming’s flair.
- A lot of story development that results in an overall strong plot.
- Some readers criticize the conclusion as being hurried and poorly constructed.
Icebreaker By John Gardner (1983)
Bond is enlisted to take down the squad known as ‘Icebreaker’, for a treacherous mission that involves agents from the CIA, KGB, and Israel’s Mossad.
- A story filled with exciting action and exquisitely graphic scenes of torture.
- Gardner deviates from the established Bond template to produce an outstanding continuation novel.
- There may be too many plot holes, according to some readers.
Role Of Honour By John Gardner (1984)
Bond is suddenly unemployed after abruptly departing the British Secret Intelligence Service. SPECTRE was among the first to ask for 007’s assistance, thus he must first demonstrate his allegiance.
- A clever method for transforming James Bond’s persona.
- The unexpected twist will make readers question their assumptions.
- The plot, according to some readers, is out-of-date and uninspired.
Nobody Lives Forever By John Gardner (1986)
While on the run, Bond must traverse Europe in a vicious cat-and-mouse game with the world’s best killers while attempting to preserve the lives of the two ladies who mean the most to him.
- A compelling narrative with a violent, thrilling climax.
- With this book, Gardner appears to be truly fitting into his position as a Bond author.
- At this stage in the series, the plot feels a little inflated and implausible.
No Deals, Mr. Bond By John Gardner (1987)
A maze of double-crossing in Ireland propels a weaponless Bond to a perplexing encounter in a secluded area of Hong Kong, where he is being pursued by four attackers.
- Unlike the plot of the last book, this novel’s storyline is believable and realistic.
- The reader’s interest is maintained by the unexpected twists.
- Many readers criticise this entry for having too much action and not enough story.
Scorpius By John Gardner (1988)
Bond is assigned to assist with an investigation after a corpse is discovered carrying his phone number. He faces yet another desperate situation as terrorist attacks spread throughout Britain.
- An engaging book with just the right amount of tension and action.
- There are too many coincidences and plot holes throughout the narrative.
Win, Lose Or Die By John Gardner (1989)
When Bond learns that terrorists are preparing to attack a top-secret aircraft carrier, putting the safety of the world’s most powerful leaders in jeopardy, he once again must step in to take them down.
- A wonderful thriller that is easy to read.
- Packed with plenty of action, this book is a true page turner.
- Once more, the plot occasionally borders on the unbelievable.
Licence To Kill By John Gardner (1989)
Since he no longer has a license to kill, Bond has become regarded as a rogue operative. He rapidly realizes, while he works on a fresh investigation, that things might go south very quickly.
- Gardner does a fantastic job of personalizing the material, which is based on the 1989 film of the same name.
- A thrilling book that is packed with excitement and action.
- If you’re a fan of the movie, don’t expect to read anything entirely original in this book.
Brokenclaw By John Gardner (1990)
When several scientists working on a novel submarine detection system are abducted, Bond is assigned with researching a philanthropist with a disfigured hand, nicknamed ‘Brokenclaw’.
- Brokenclaw is a fascinating villain with just the right amount of intensity to hold readers’ attention.
- The plot is filled with tension and action.
- Several elements in the plot, notably the conclusion, appear exceedingly improbable.
The Man From Barbarossa By John Gardner (1991)
With the help of two French Secret Service agents and an Israeli Mossad agent, Captain James Bond has been tasked with infiltrating the Scales of Justice under the guise of a television team in order to learn their true intentions.
- Very good characterizations are written by Gardner.
- A compelling story with complex plotting.
- This is considered one of Gardner’s weaker contributions to the Bond series, according to readers.
Death Is Forever By John Gardner (1992)
Following the strange deaths of two British spies in Germany, Bond is tasked with finding the remaining members of a Cold War-era intelligence organization.
- The plot shows Bond seeking out a believable villain with realistic motives.
- While the plot starts off slow, it ends with a thrilling climax that’ll captivate readers.
- The first part of the book is very slow and can get a bit tiresome.
Never Send Flowers By John Gardner (1993)
One thing seems certain when four prominent individuals are killed in less than a week: each of them was being hunted down and pursued. When MI5 approaches MI6 for assistance, M sends in the best.
- The engaging storyline moves along quickly throughout.
- With a fantastic twist at the conclusion, readers will be engrossed as they flip the pages.
- This book is lacking the action that one would expect from a Bond story.
SeaFire By John Gardner (1994)
With a newly renewed license to kill, Bond is back to work. Even he, however, is surprised as an undercover operation quickly results in a homicide in Spain, a runaway in Israel, and neo-Nazi conspirators in Germany.
- This story has lots of action and moves quickly.
- Some interesting antagonists are introduced in this story.
- The Nazi narrative feels done to death, and is quite predictable throughout.
Goldeneye By John Gardner (1995)
With the help of his most recent high-tech invention, a power-hungry Russian leader named Janus intends to manipulate the financial markets in the West. It is up to Bond to foil his plans.
- A tightly crafted novelization of the same-named film, which was released the same year.
- An exciting story with lots of action and a great twist.
- With a few minor additions, the novel substantially mimics the movie’s storyline.
Cold By John Gardner (1996)
A former lover of Bond’s is one of the casualties when Flight 229 is wrecked. 007 stumbles onto a community more dangerous than any terrorist organization as he hunts out the perpetrators of the wreck.
- The plot is mostly well-done, with a few twists and turns along the way.
- A fantastic, contemporary Bond tale.
- The plot can be difficult to follow as the time frame shifts.
Zero Minus Ten By Raymond Benson (1997)
It is up to Bond to figure out how and why a string of deadly occurrences – that seem to have no connection – are unfolding all across the world.
- Benson’s first continuation of the Bond novels is a great debut.
- A captivating story overall with lots of vivid imagery.
- The prose style isn’t fantastic, with many examples of lazy writing throughout.
Tomorrow Never Dies By Raymond Benson (1997)
Rich media tycoon Elliot Carver has come up with a scheme to spark a war between China and Great Britain. It is up to Bond to take Carver down.
- A remarkable plot with a great story line.
- The story is almost identical to what is depicted in the film.
The Facts Of Death By Raymond Benson (1998)
Bond narrowly escapes with his life after British soldiers are poisoned in Cyprus. When he searches for the assassin, suspicions start to surface.
- An interesting tale with a gripping plot.
- There are numerous action moments to keep the reader engaged.
- The narrative is quite predictable and clichéd.
The World Is Not Enough By Raymond Benson (1999)
After oil tycoon Sir Robert King is assassinated in a blast at MI6 headquarters, his daughter inherits the attention of her father’s assassin. It’s up to Bond to keep her alive.
- The book is beautifully written, paying close attention to every last detail.
- Benson’s novelization is almost identical to the screenplay.
High Time To Kill By Raymond Benson (1999)
The Union, an international gang that specializes in assassination and aggression, has connections all around the globe. They become 007’s primary focus when they kill his friend.
- This novel offers a fascinating peek inside Bond’s heart and psychological makeup.
- A fantastically suspenseful tale with many twists and turns.
- Both character depth and emotional expression are lacking.
Doubleshot By Raymond Benson (2000)
With a vow of vengeance against Bond, the Union set out to undermine both his name and his conscience by seducing the spy into a perilous and unstable alliance.
- A compelling narrative with lots of action.
- The plot is incredibly plausible, making it a fantastic Bond novel.
- Comparing this book to other Bond books, the writing is rather lackluster.
Never Dream Of Dying By Raymond Benson (2001)
While trying to find Le Gerant, the head of the Union, Bond’s friend has vanished. Bond embarks on an exciting voyage as he attempts to overthrow the Union once more.
- There is a lot of action and a compelling plot in this book.
- Compares favorably to the last book in terms of character development and level of depth.
- With the exception of the shocks near the conclusion, the remainder of the plot is unimpressive.
The Man With The Red Tattoo By Raymond Benson (2002)
Bond is suspicious of a mass homicide in Japan after a British entrepreneur and his family die from a severe case of West Nile infection
- This is regarded as Benson’s best solo Bond novel to date.
- The plot is enjoyable and moves along at a fair pace.
- There is a lack of clarity and wit in the writing.
Die Another Day By Raymond Benson (2002)
Bond travels the globe in an effort to expose a traitor and avert a world war that will have disastrous consequences.
- Those who enjoyed the 2002 movie will like this novelization.
- The characters in this book gain a little more nuance.
- The movie’s script and the novel are virtually identical.
The Moneypenny Diaries (2005-2020) By Kate Westbrook
The Moneypenny series is narrated from the viewpoint of Bond’s coworker and comrade, Miss Jane Moneypenny, who also serves as M’s secretary. Here are the novels that make up the series:
- The reader gains a deeper understanding of Bond, thanks to Miss Moneypenny’s POV.
- A series with a strong female lead.
- If you’re a fan of action scenes, this may not be the series for you.
The Young Bond Series (2005-2018) By Charlie Higson and Steve Cole
The Young Bond series follows 007 as a boy, sharing his stories to a younger audience. Here are the novels that make up the series:
- Silverfin (2005)
- Blood Fever (2006)
- Double or Die (2007)
- Hurricane Gold (2007)
- By Royal Command (2008)
- Danger Society (2009)
- Shoot to Kill (2014)
- Heads You Die (2016)
- Strike Lightning (2016)
- Red Nemesis (2017)
- A Hard Man To Kill (2018)
- A fantastic way to introduce children to the world of 007.
- A fun read for children and adults alike.
- The storylines may be a little childish for die-hard fans of 007.
Devil May Care By Sebastian Faulks (2008)
In the remote suburbs of Paris, a horrific killing of an Algerian drug dealer triggers a series of events that Bond must halt before a worldwide disaster occurs.
- A simple, entertaining read for the readers.
- There are intriguing villains, enticing girls, and a great deal of action throughout the story.
- The conclusion seemed a little rushed.
Carte Blanche By Jeffery Deaver (2011)
As HQ decrypts an electronic whisper with the details of a devastating attack, it summons James Bond away from dining with a stunning woman with a Night Action alert.
- A compelling adventure that the reader will enjoy.
- Intriguing twists throughout, especially towards the end.
- While being a decent read, some Bond enthusiasts contend that it is not a true Bond story.
Solo By William Boyd (2013)
Bond is called to headquarters after celebrating his 45th birthday and is given an intriguing assignment. A brutal civil conflict is ravaging a fragile region in West Africa, and Bond must put an end to it.
- The story’s plot is extremely intricate.
- A tale with a few unanticipated twists and turns.
- The novel generally moves at a very slow pace.
Trigger Mortis By Anthony Horowitz (2015)
The counterintelligence service of the Soviet Union intends to destroy a Grand Prix race in Europe. The course of events changes unexpectedly as Bond gets behind the wheel.
- A sleek, alluring account of a contemporary Bond.
- There are numerous turns and twists to keep the reader wondering.
- Many of the plot points, according to some readers, were rushed.
Forever And A Day By Anthony Horowitz (2018)
The reader witnesses James Bond’s reputation come into fruition as he obtains his license to kill at the start of his brilliant career.
- The narrative is full of engaging action scenes that are nicely crafted.
- The reader will fall in love with two outstanding, enduring villains.
- Bond’s, the antagonist’s, and numerous other significant characters’ motivations appeared unnatural.
With A Mind To Kill By Anthony Horowitz (2022)
In an operation in which there is constant deceit and one wrong step can lead to his demise, Bond must face his most troubling self-reflections.
- An evocative and exciting addition to the Bond series.
- This is a thrilling spy thriller with a foundation in Cold War history.
- Some readers claim that the plot was overly drawn out in certain places.
Each writer who has taken on the role of Bond has contributed their own special contribution to the series. Nonetheless, each book maintains the first book’s tense, suspenseful, and flawlessly sophisticated ambiance.
By following our list above, you can read each of the Bond stories in the order of their release, although it should be noted that these stories are not listed in chronological order.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Was The Final Bond Novel Written By Ian Fleming?
The twelveth and last book in Fleming’s Bond series is The Man with the Golden Gun (1966).
Did James Bond Ever Get Married?
Teresa ‘Tracy’ Di Vicenzo is the only woman to have wed James Bond, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963).